Inside the Rainbow

By Jim Selman | Bio

If we think about retirement or growing older in general, it seems to me that most of us are trying to figure out what we want for our future. Our orientation is to explore options given whatever opening we have, rather than to consider that aging is an opening and the challenge is to create new possibilities—not simply cope with our circumstances.

I used to think about life-after-retirement as a kind of blank canvas on which we could paint whatever future we choose.  On reflection, it’s more accurate to say that the opening we can create for ourselves doesn’t mean that we start with a blank canvas, for our experience and wisdom from living will not disappear. It is more like our past becomes the background that gives color and richness to our choices going forward. The past need not limit or determine what the rest of our lives will be, but it can illuminate and enliven whatever we are experiencing.

The image of living inside a rainbow comes to mind as a great metaphor. From this perspective, I imagine a universe of wondrous color and a vast and mysterious space of exquisite possibility. The pot of gold isn’t at the end of the rainbow—it is inside the rainbow.

© 2008 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.